Thanksgiving K.I.S.S. – Keeping Your Family Traditions Alive!


Entering the “holiday” season; the blues are possible. No one plans to have an explosion as the turkey is served, but nevertheless, emotions are on high to have perfection. All our memories may not be the glance of greatness, rather if you’re at my house, it might be “Pinterest Fail” for dinner. How can all those videos make it look so easy? Think again, on the “why” of gathering.

I’ve been married for nearly thirty-three years come this December and early on, at the big Thanksgiving Day prep, I had the in-law heartache you hear about. Our first Thanksgiving together I was peeling potatoes which seems harmless enough, right? However, for a person who leans a little to the OCD side of food prep, I suddenly had the backseat on what would become a new family tradition. “These potatoes aren’t peeled right”, my father-in-law shook his head with disgust. Tiny as it may seem, there was a bit here and there of a peel. “Oh that’s not a big deal”, my mother-in-law smiled, “I’ll fix it.” Now I could wreck the day, or play their way. Okay, my thoughts began to bubble up, what good am I in this kitchen as a new bride in this family?

We all have a choice at a crossroads. Take offense or jump off the fence! I took the plunge to the other side of anger, laughter! As my beautiful, talented, sweet mother-in-law created a work of art with oyster dressing, rice dressing, pies, cakes, turkey and yes, the perfect mashed potatoes a person could eat, I oversaw celery. I laugh even now thinking about it. Here I am, a capable worker and a graduate of the University of Oklahoma, not good enough to peel a potato? Why make the small stuff big?

Every year it became my job to cut celery and fill it with peanut butter. Even then, the messiness of the spreading became a Thanksgiving joke. Are you in the same spread of life? Just like we teach our children to be kind to adults, we too must follow our own advice.

What traditions have made you a better person? Oh yes, please share with me, because each year we add more to our list. Be that mom who has “fun” as their middle name. Kids remember the fails with pleasure when laughter is involved. Never stop the KISS. Keep It Simple Sweetie.

*My sweet mother in law when I was pregnant with baby #4*

We always knew the turkey was done when the button pops up. We knew baby was ready when just like that turkey, my belly button popped out!

Family time quickly changes and those “little’s” are cooking for you. Teach them the why of Thanksgiving, which is to be thankful. Now, there’s nothing but blue skies from here on out! 

Mom: Why did the turkey cross the road?
Kid: I don’t know.
Mom: It was Thanksgiving Day, and he wanted people to think he was a chicken?

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Deena McDaniel
Coach Deena has been teaching fitness since 1991 and currently is also a dance instructor at Starlight Theater Company. As a graduate of the University of Oklahoma, she and her husband of thirty-two years are those extreme football fans you hear about. Boomer Sooner! Deena’s a brand-new grandmother and wait till you hear how this granny is taking life by the “horns down.” She’s a stay at home mom, who has homeschooled all four of their children. She’s excited to share her granny knowledge and teenage drama secrets to help you get through life. Deena McDaniel is the creator founder of Christmas Near The Beach, a premier Christmas show in Hollywood, Florida (Est. 2007). In 1996, Deena began writing her weekly column Positively Beautiful, which is published in a local Missouri paper and more recently in a blog form on Facebook. Her background includes TV commercial production, Evening News promotion and hosting her own radio request show, “Sunday Drive.” She has a passion for fitness. It has been a life long adventure, from bodybuilding to mime ministry you’ll see this mom of four teaching fitness of almost any style. She and her family are active members at Palm Vista Community Church in Miami Lakes, Florida. “Remember you’re never able to quit the job of motherhood, rather the dynamics keep changing and your employment is for life.”- Coach Deena



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